Category Archives: Use Up the Stash

One more down

Finished the orange and blue quilt top today. Going to find a back for it and get it ready to quilt.

It will have a blue binding. I’m not sure what color thread I’ll quilt it with, though. The background looks yellow here, but it’s a nice soft orange in real life! It’s not huge and will make a good couch quilt.

Hmmm…there’s a wedding this summer…

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Filed under Modern Quilts, Quilting, Use Up the Stash

All the choices!

Yesterday I had a clean slate on the design wall and time to play. I thought I’d start some big new art project  or at least transform an old project into some cool new art piece. I looked through piles of stuff that had been sitting on the shelves.

Selected a queen size top to get ready for basting and decided that it could wait until warm weather. Then I can set up several tables in the garage, spread the thing out and make it easy on myself. Went through all the other tops in that stack–nothing spoke to me, but I don’t have as many waiting as I thought–only 8 or 9, not the 17 I thought were there! I guess I have managed to reduce the stack a bit over the years. I have sent a few out to longarmers!

On another shelf, packed neatly away in it’s own little bag, with all the extra fabric, was a quilt I had started in a workshop. I liked the fabric quite a bit, but never quite got back to finish it. By the time I got everything out of the bag and looked it over, I figured I might as well make it a useful size and at least add it to the stack waiting to be quilted!

As I looked over the parts, I remembered part of the reason I packed it away. It was one of those mystery patterns, and you put squares over the end of the rectangle and sewed it and trimmed it to make the triangle at the end…and I did that with the wrong fabrics right at the start. I hate the wastefulness of that, but I did it–and with the right fabrics–and got the thing put together.

I spent most of the afternoon putting together those little cut off triangles because I couldn’t stand to throw them away! They were mostly a little bit different in sizes but I persevered and got them together well enough to use for a little border.

It was frustrating at first, but after a while I slowed down, let go of the frustration and it became a relaxing, repetitive exercise.

And I’m going to use those blue and blue ‘wrong’ rectangles for another border. It will simply read as blue and it will be fine.

And I will be happy because I’m using up that wasted fabric, the top will be a good sized throw and one more project will be out of it’s bag and on it’s way to a useful life!

Not what I thought I’d be doing at all, but simple and relaxing are often the best things for you, in spite of yourself!

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Filed under Non-traditional Quilts, Fabric, Thinking About Quilting!, Color, Use Up the Stash

Another secret…

Those black and white fabrics and blocks got put away for another day. Just couldn’t muster up enough interest in them. Hoever, black and whites are what I worked with today after all. The KEQ group is making a pie shaped challenge piece that is black, white and one color. It’s not due until May but I had it already all planned out, so today was the day…but I can’t show you because it’s not due until May!!! I can show you that I finished it with my favorite corded edge technique!

And now you know that my extra color is green…which will be a minor surprise to those who know that my favorite color is orange!

I had a couple of small pieces of fused heavy interfacing left that I cut into postcard size and guess what? I picked up some more scraps off the floor and made a couple of postcards.

Or maybe they can be mug rugs…they aren’t very special! I’m simply grateful that I had time today to do some sewing. That always makes for a good day!

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Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Use Up the Stash

Picking up scraps

Literally, walking around my studio and all the scraps on the floor were driving me nuts! Not enough to really clean, of course, but I kind of wanted to prove a point to myself. I’ve always maintained that we all work with a palette of colors that appeals to us individually and that you can combine pretty much anything from your shelves and it will look good. So I thought I’d try it with the scraps I found thrown around the studio.

Now you all know that I have many overflowing scrap baskets like this pile, loosely sorted by color.

I just kept picking up pieces and sewing them together until I ended up with these four blocks.

I thought about searching through the baskets for more, but stopped myself from crazy scrap madness! The other part of my color theory is that black and white goes with everything! And it did….all of the dozen or so fabrics that I auditioned looked fine, but I ended up going with the one that had a bit more color.

It will make a nice spot of color on someone’s wall!

And THEN…..I looked over at the shelves and this pile of leftover blocks and scraps jumped out at me!

I felt like I was on a roll and threw the blocks up on the wall, with some fabric that I thought I would use with them.

Then I started re-arranging the blocks and maybe something else will emerge!

That’s as far as the “scrap roll” has taken me, but that’s not too bad! I’m also starting to feel as though I can relatively quickly sort through those baskets of scraps next week and get rid of many of the pieces I’ve been holding on to for ‘someday’. I’m not as attached to them as I thought I was…so that means now is the time to make them gone!!! Even if they end up as dog bed stuffing, it will be nice to have them used and not just cluttering up my space.

Here’s to ‘good garbage’…

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Filed under Art Quilts, Designing Quilts, Fabric, Use Up the Stash

Did you hear the brakes squealing?

My brain took an abrupt turn around all the projects I have hanging around my studio and I practically got whiplash from the spin!

This

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and this

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are now going to be merged into one project!

I couldn’t decide what to do with either one of them separately but suddenly it seemed perfect to slam them together!

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I threw them up on the design wall and tried out a couple of sashing fabrics. Here’s how round 1 came out.

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One more row top and bottom and suddenly I have a full size quilt!

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I’d put a little border on it, but I don’t have any more of the yellow sashing fabric and nothing else really seemed to fit. And the best part is that I have only a tiny pile of scraps left.

binding-joe-project-4

The strips equal about one more width of the quilt and they will be fine to go into any back I put on this. I’m feeling pretty good about my Use Up the Stash efforts this week!

Now–I almost forgot that I have a group project that is due a few days after I get back from my next trip. I won’t be able to take it with me, so I guess that jumped to the top of the list, didn’t it? And it’s one of those that I can’t show you until later. S0……………busy, busy, busy!

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Filed under Designing Quilts, Fabric, Thinking About Quilting!, Use Up the Stash

Actually USING it!

This is a pile of leftover binding strips that I sewed together at one point, on one of my many attempts to use up some scraps.

binding-strips-1

And they just sat there…

Grabbed one and a piece of “other scrap” and wondered if this is something I want to do…

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Or the simple, traditional looking rail-fence style?

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Do I want to use them in a more improv way? Grabbed two, gave them cross cut slices and had a couple of okay looking rectangles.

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And using four different blocks, which required a little more work to get them together. Let me show you. When you cut and sew the first half, the seams come out very uneven.

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In order to sew the halves back together, you need to have a plan and give yourself a straight edge to go by. You can lay them out and cut them individually or you can stack and trim one side and use that as your straight edge guide.

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Flip and sew right along that edge for a nice, straight seam. Then you can trim the other side–or not, depending on how picky you are about seam allowances. I have to admit that I trim!

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And that gave me four very busy blocks…maybe too busy to make a whole quilt out of…?

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How ’bout trying it with a chunk of “other scrap” fabric?

binding-strips-8

Not a huge improvement and probably not worth scrounging for chunks of more plain fabric. BUT…I think I have a chunk of map fabric left from another project that might work if I throw these all together in cross-cut squares and rectangles. The map fabric could be sashing.

In any event, this pile of scrap has now made it to the top of my cutting table and will not be returning to the shelf! I will stick to my resolve of use it and get it out of here!

Aaaaaand…every time I move stuff around I find other good stuff. My newest found treasures are a coule of dyed pieces of lace in red and orange. I immediately thought they might be the happy solution to my workshop/bias tape project

dyed-lace

and I have more lace that I can easily dye if I need it! Yep–I like it!

There are some more artful projects that I’d like to do, but I want to have thinking time as I work on those. I have another teaching trip to make before that happens, so I’ll try to work on scrap reduction in the short times in between.

People often have a word of the year–mine looks like it’s ‘reduction’—in all areas!

Oh-oh-oh—I totally forgot about my friend Mary Hogan’s book! It’s called String Quilt Style and the cover quilt is one I’ve wanted to make…and it’s totally perfect for these blocks!

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I’m not sure if I’ll use a single background color, for I have no large amount of any single fabric. If I have to buy more fabric, I will, but it will be a defeat in the reduction area. I will try to improvise something appropriate first!

 

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Filed under Designing Quilts, Quilting, Thinking About Quilting!, Use Up the Stash

What is your ultimate goal?

After griping about how much fabric I have and not enough sewing time–yet again–one of my friends asked me what my ultimate goal for the fabric is. That really made me sit back and think.

Certainly it’s not going to go into the trash. It’s good quality new fabric for the most part.

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I’m waaaaay too cheap thrifty to give it away, even to my guild charity sewers. That’s simply not an option for me.

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It all came into my house because I love it, every piece, and thought I would use it.

bright

And I really want to use it all up and make wonderful art.

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But really, what IS my ultimate goal for all of it?

I want it to be gone so that I can make my art from fabric that I have created.

Moons of Ios

Moons of Ios

Yep. I am a fabriholic. I cannot resist it. I am definitely a hoarder. But I’m not getting it used and that’s a crying shame. What to do…what to do…what to do…I’m really thinking hard on this one. The best I’ve come up with so far is to block out some time on my calendar and make quilt tops, all day, every day. And then keep using the fabric to make quilt backs, all day, every day. Even if they never get quilted by me, that way there would be a chance for all that fabric to be useful rather than just sit on the shelf. Someone could quilt them or give them to charity after I’m gone–I won’t care then!

Are there better ideas? I’d love to hear them. I DO have a goal now and I’d love to think that it really is attainable…but I’m getting older fast so I have to work quickly now!

Wait–a goal without a timeline is just a wish, right? Then I’d like to have it mostly done by September…sufficiently far away that it sounds possible. Ready–aim–go for it!

 

 

 

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Filed under Art Quilts, Quilting, surface design, Thinking About Quilting!, Use Up the Stash